May 05, 2016 - Sale 2413

Sale 2413 - Lot 290

Price Realized: $ 845
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
"THE PRUSSIAN GOVERNMENT . . . AIMS TO UPROOT THE POLISH PEOPLE FROM THEIR LAND" SIENKIEWICZ, HENRYK. Typed Letter Signed, to an unnamed recipient ("Sir"), in French, urging him or her to speak out against the Prussian government's continuing encroachment upon Polish sovereignty, including a ban on public use of the Polish language, and especially the recent proposal to appropriate Polish lands for German settlement by means of "forced expropriation." 3 pages, 4to, written on two folded sheets; evenly toned, horizontal fold. Paris, 10 December 1907

Additional Details

'. . . The twentieth century is seeing the accomplishment of an unheard-of deed, an insult to civilization, to right, to justice, and to all the humanitarian concepts that are the foundation of life and intellectual culture of modern society. . . . For a long time there has existed in Prussian Poland a Colonization Commission, which has as its mission to buy back their lands from the Polish people in order to settle Germans there, paying for these lands with funds to which the Polish people themselves have been forced to contribute through taxes as Prussian subjects. . . . Indeed, a proposal for a law of 'forced expropriation' has just been presented to the Prussian Diet. The Polish people subjugated to the Prussian scepter would finally be uprooted from the soil that is their homeland, the beloved land on which, for thousands of years, an entire succession of generations have been born, lived, and lie buried. . . . The official news of this event has already spread throughout the entire world and, for the honor of humanity, it must be stated that it has provoked a unanimous cry of protest and indignation everywhere. . . . But we, the Polish people, we want this protest against barbarism to last as long as possible and assume the broadest proportions. . . . This protest will not acquire the persistence, and at the same time immense authority, unless, in the entire world, the most eminent men of science, literature, and the arts express their opinion individually. . . . That is why we are addressing you, Monsieur, imploring you to speak out immediately against the proposed law of the Prussian government, which aims to uproot the Polish people from their land by means of forced expropriation. . . .'